Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snowballs in hell

In a Ha'aretz analysis that by turns examines and displays the cynicism and delusions of all parties to the slaughter in Gaza, this passage actually made me laugh out loud, but not in a good way:

In just 11 days, president-elect Barack Obama will take office. On Tuesday he was asked about the war between Hamas and Israel. He said he was concerned about the civilian casualties on both sides. That concern could turn into anger at Israel in the course of the inauguration ceremony. Washington expects - though it is not saying so out loud - that Israel will end the war before Obama is sworn in as president. [my emphasis]

Anger at Israel in the course of the inauguration ceremony is about as likely as 80-degree temperatures on Inaugural Day. No, there's nothing for the Israelis to fear from the new administration, or from Congress. If the Israeli government ends its assault before Obama is sworn in, it will be for their own internal political reasons.

It certainly won't be because they've run out of bullets, bombs, and shells with which to bury Gazans in the rubble of their houses. Those have our names on them. Anyone who wants to pretend that the current Israeli onslaught wasn't green-lighted by the U.S. government needs to explain the unusually large, irregular, commercial shipments of weapons and ammunition from Sunny Point, NC to Ashdod, an Israeli port 20 miles from Gaza -- 3000 tons in December, another 1000 tons planned for this month.

But the ice is cracking. The discussion of the occupation can no longer be shut down or controlled here as it used to. The spectacle of active political support for Israel's latest atrocities is increasing the disconnect between the American people and our elected "representatives" and media elite.

As with so many things, the change seems to be coming too late to do much good, but you never know where it will end up. The important thing is to push it along when you can.

Launching Qassam rockets over the Gaza border is a war crime. Over a period of years, the rockets have killed dozens of Israeli civilians and a few Palestinians, injured others, caused damage, and fostered a climate of fear and uncertainty.

Years of U.S.-Israeli blockade and economic strangulation, "targeted assassinations", an attempted coup against the elected government, with periodic and ever-more-savage aerial bombing, missile and tank assaults on densely populated areas: these constitute a far greater war crime, one in which we are directly complicit. More than a third of the 800+ killed since December 27 are women and children; well more than half are civilians and noncombatants. It is simply wrong to characterize the Israeli actions as self-defense.

Tell your Senators and your House member how you view their active cheerleading for Israel's assault on Gaza. If you're represented by one of the 27 House representatives who voted 'no' or 'present', please thank and encourage them.

Update: 2:10 pm, 12 January - Rep. Dennis Kucinich speaking [4 min video] in opposition to the House resolution on Jan. 9. David Luban post on the legalities and illegalities of Israel's current assault on Gaza. Pat Lang's comments on IDF ground forces.

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At 4:39 PM, January 19, 2009, Blogger janinsanfran said...

I have to agree with you that the ice is cracking -- tho so little and so late.

My friends who are Arabs resident in the Middle East can't see it, but something is moving in this country that may s-o-m-e-d-a-y stop us from enabling Israel's war on the Palestinians. We just get to keep trying to make it sooner.


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